Mud, mud, mud

20 02 2010
Bangor City 3 Haverfordwest County 2
Welsh Premier League

I was awoken by the tone announcing a text message. Before I had the chance to worry about its significance I read it. Bangor’s match was on apparently. The match had passed an 8am pitch inspection. It was on, I didn’t even know it could have been off. I opened the curtain and was presented with a snowy streetscape. My mind saw players kicking an orange ball. At last!!  I would see it in person!!!

Unfortunately the snow receded so quickly that it made you wonder about the point of the worrying. I entered Farrar Rd to see a verdant playing surface. The sun and lush grass made you think of pleasant summer days. I heard a mangled conversation; “…yeah but what’s the least distance the ball can roll before they call a game off?” I thought they were testing hypotheses as my mind was in a pleasant valley.

Then the comment was heard, “pitch inspection!?!?”, followed by the challenge; “Pitch Inspection????” then the confirmation “Pitch Inspection!!!” So the lush surface was deceptive. We waited for signs of life; the groundsman forked the pitch, the players gazed at the pitch, one manager worried about the pitch, the other strode manfully across the pitch, we waited anxiously for news about the pitch. Then, after an eternity, the referee appeared wearing a suit with football boots. A few circles of the pitch and the match was on.

“Well it’s not playable but then we’d have to come back on a Tuesday, so they’ll have to play it!!!” spat the Haverfordwest fan in a scarf. He retreated to the stand, via the tea bar, and sat disconsolately. Maybe it was the jet lag. The match was on, even though the pitch was said to be a bit marshy in places.

Bangor began the match defending the wrong end. This may explain the conceding of what they call a soft goal on the television. The ball went in via the thighs of Johnno. Nobody panicked so Bangor were soon level. Garside put the ball in after some hot goalmouth action. The pitch, so green and pleasant before the game, started to appear a wee bit brown and slippery as the half wore on.

Bangor kept a sure footing even though some of the tackling seemed to suggest City’s players might want to fly across the turf. Thanks to this approach,  the pitch gradually embellished the kit of the players with an unwanted colouration. It’s as if players don’t care about the people who look after their kit, brown and green is soooooo 2006 as well, are you listening Haverfordwest? Thankfully the blues were ahead by half time. Mr. Lee Hunt esq.’s header hit the post and Reedy slammed home the rebound. We were set fair for another win.

I missed the Haverfordwest equaliser as I was still in the shop. After I had taken my place on the terracing I could see that Bangor were trying to play their normal game but the pitch was hindering these efforts. Mr. Lee Hunt esq. was penalised because a Haverfordwest defender decided that he couldn’t be bothered chasing. The ref fell for the blatant simulation either caused by embarrassment, or the defender fancying a lie down.

Even though passing and running seemed to be a struggle we did string moves together. One move led to a blocked shot, another led to a good save from their keeper. Then Mr. Lee Hunt esq missed a very hard chance; the ball flew at him and he couldn’t divert it properly; it hit his thighs and flew over. When we had given up most of our hope, Stotty struck. Another good move was capped by the sliding of the ball into the goal. Stotty seemed very happy but then he wasn’t alone.

Another win on the road to somewhere!

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